Department of Psychology

Visiting address
2052 Parkstead House, Whitelands
Contact

Phone: +44 (0)20 8392 3589

Biography

Marco Sandrini joined the Department of Psychology as Lecturer in September 2015.

During his PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Verona (Italy, supervisor Prof. Carlo Miniussi) he investigated the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in working memory and episodic memory using TMS in healthy humans. This research demonstrated the lateralized contribution of the DLPFC to verbal and spatial working memory (Sandrini et al., 2008) and to encoding and retrieval of episodic memories (Miniussi, Cappa, Sandrini, Rossini and Rossi, 2003; Sandrini et al., 2003). In addition, this period enabled him to acquire expertise in noninvasive brain stimulation. His research training continued as a post-doctoral research fellow at University of Trento (Italy) working on the role of fronto-parietal network in working memory. He demonstrated the causal role of the anterior PFC in the integration of information (De Pisapia, Sandrini, Braver and Cattaneo, 2012), and the contribution of the posterior parietal cortex (Sandrini et al., 2012) to the maintenance and manipulation of information by means of noninvasive brain stimulation (TMS, tDCS) in healthy humans. Additionally, he started to develop expertise in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), working on a concurrent TMS-fMRI project. At the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA), as a research fellow (supervisor Dr. Leonardo Cohen), he worked on memory reconsolidation, a time-limited state of plasticity during which existing memories can be modified (i.e., strengthened or weakened/disrupted). He demonstrated for the first time that noninvasive brain stimulation of the DLPFC during reconsolidation strengthens episodic memories in healthy adults (Sandrini et al., 2013, 2014) and in individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (Manenti et al., 2017, 2018). Interestingly, these studies show that reconsolidation provides a window of opportunity to strengthen episodic memory with noninvasive brain stimulation, an important issue for memory research and clinical applications.

Qualifications

PhD

Research interests

Marco Sandrini's research goal is to determine the brain mechanisms mediating human memory in young and older adults. He seeks to understand what happens in the brain when we maintain and manipulate information in the mind for a short period of time, with a specific focus on understanding when a memory is formed, when a fragile short-term memory is consolidated into a long-term memory, when the reactivated existing memory is reconsolidated, and when a memory formed previously is recalled on subsequent occasions. His long-term research goal is to develop novel interventions aimed at modulating memory function and improving the health and quality of life for patients with neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. Other interests: Action representation, and response inhibition in healthy subjects and patients with Traumatic Brain Injury; Number processing and calculation.
Techniques: Noninvasive brain stimulation (TMS, tDCS) alone or combined with fMRI (offline and online).

Professional affiliations

Italian Neuropsychology Society (SINP); Federation of European Societies of Neuropsychology (FESN); Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) ; Society for Neuroscience

Teaching

I am the course convenor for Research Methods and Statistics (year 1) and Indivdual Differences and Psycometrics (year 2). I contribute lectures to Mind, Body and Brain (year 2) and Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience (year 3).

Links

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